tayler smith

AskContact/Social MediaNext pageArchive

Re: Most Important Ugly Show Zines


I know many of you have been emailing and asking me on other platforms about possibly reserving a zine out of the 100 print run. This is not going to be possible, I’m sorry.

There are only going to be 13 copies of the zine — signed and numbered, with some secrets too, but only 13 copies. So I can’t let any of you reserve them because then they would be all gone before the show even started. If you’d like one, you’ll have to get to the show early/on time. They’ll be $25 a pop. There will be no reprints.

Anyway, the post with all the information pertinent to the project has been updated accordingly.

Thanks for understanding. 

caitykat1 asked: Hello I would love to go to the reception and the exhibit, are they free to enter or is it a first come first serve sort of deal

totally free to the public! 
bring friends! tell everyone! we want you there! 


April 25, 2014 ­ July 25, 2014 American Two Shot
135 Grand street, NYC Opening Reception: April 25th, 6:00­-9:00pm

Hello friends and friendly strangers –

If you know me at all, you know I live and breathe both makeup and memories – the stories that lipstick can tell you and the people who wear them help me wake up in the morning. Call it shallow or call it survival. I’d consider it more the latter and it’s the heart of Most Important Ugly.

What exactly should you expect? In essence,
it’s a series of 13 portraits that negotiate the
sitter’s stories of alienation and presentation,
memories and disremembering. In order to sit
for their photo to be taken, I asked each muse
a series of questions about shame, safety,
power, family and beauty. This series of
questions is called “Therapy Sessions in Sephora,” a reference to the place where I came up with the questions and the place where the ideas for this project began to unfold.

This project discusses anxiety and queer marginalization, revealing the monsters that are hidden inside of us when we are taught what we are is not enough, or is too much, or that it shouldn’t exist at all. It is a presentation of the resistance of marginalized people and how makeup can bring out the best in you: it’s just that the best is not always what is expected, or the most beautiful, or the most kind. Most Important Ugly tells the story of Monster Culture and the everyday heroes that it breeds. The heroes are my friends in the queer community, my readers, our friends. Non­binary beauties, trans friends, queer and questioning people we know and love all came together to sit for this project and it is their stories that we have the honor to share in these photographs. Gertrude Stein once wrote: “Give me new face new faces new faces I have seen the old ones.” This is our response to this idea of a beauty culture where we do not belong.

There are 13 portraits in the installation. There will also be a Limited Edition zine (Edition of 100 copies) detailing our process and monster culture, and it will include the original questions asked of each sitter. That way, you can learn what your Most Important Ugly is, too.

Much love,

Arabelle Sicardi is a fashion and beauty writer & artist with the popular feminist fashion blog, Fashion Pirate. She is on staff at Rookie Magazine, the online teen magazine founded by Tavi Gevinson, and has also contributed to Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Autostraddle, and Lucky. She was most recently profiled in the New York Times for her work in creating communities of Self­Empowerment and in PAPER Magazine online as a personal style blogger the magazine is obsessed with.

Tayler Smith is a photographer with a focus on fine art portraiture, currently attending her second year at The School of Visual Arts. She was named one of the Frist Museum’s “Young Tennessee Artists” of 2012 and has since contributed to Inconnu Magazine, Motive Magazine and Autostraddle. This is her first public exhibition.

For contact information, please email Arabelle at arabelle@fashionpirate.net

Indigo Nelson, 2014
Melissa Fan, 2013
Tyler Ford, 2013
Hari Nef, 2014


Most Important Ugly opens on Friday! These are just outtakes — process shots. Tomorrow (later today, really) Tayler & I will drop the official press release and some of the photos that will be at the exhibition so you can get more of an idea as to what we’ve been working on for the past six months. Excited. 

The first person is Megan and the longest interview (I interview each sitter using a series of questions that informs the process of makeup and then Tayler shoots them after I’m done pulling their ugly out) — we talked a lot about Maggie Nelson, love and trauma, blue and gender dysphoria. The second one is my life muse Indigo, the leading lady of the project. 

Anyway. I’ll talk more about the project tomorrow. Hope you’re stoked.

becomingmia asked: Hi! I'm very interested in your "Most Important Ugly" exhibit with Arabelle (is exhibit the right word?). But there's no way that I could afford going to the event because it's in NY and I'm in MA and I'm super broke. So I was wondering if after the event if there would be a way to view/access what you're showing? I would pay for that, if it's in zine or book form or something? If that's not the way you guys want to present your art, I understand, I was just hoping it'd be more available later!


This is a great question! 

In the next few weeks preceding and after the opening night, I will be  releasing the photos on my photo blog NotTaylerSmith. I’ll also post the press release for the show that kind of dives into the theory behind the project and how both Arabelle and I approached it. 

We’re currently in the midst of deciding whether or not to make a printed zine that really goes into the full details of the project and would be available for purchase at the opening in an edition of 100. If we were to have zines left over after the opening, we would sell the remaining copies here on tumblr. 

I’m so sorry you can’t make it! We’d love to have you, but we know there are lots of people around the world that would love to join us for this event so we’re going to do our best to share with everyone!

aproustianrush asked: Hi! I'm pretty sure this isn't the best way to find out but I really would love to go to yours and Arabelle's opening reception -- is there an age restriction? I'm 19 and wouldn't be able to attend if it's 21+. Thank you!

The reception is open to people of all ages! We hope to see you there!